Updated at 16:11,02-12-2016

Prakapovich: Foreign currency lending stopped once and forever

The chairman of the board of the National Bank of Belarus has stated that he does not see preconditions for returning to the issues of currency crediting in early 2011.

"I am sure that the adopted decision would last once and forever," Pyotr Prakapovich said at a press conference in Minsk, commenting on possible renewal of foreign currency lending for physical persons, Interfax informs.

Earlier the National Bank said that decision was temporary, until January 1, 2011.

"If the population would desire to receive currency credits very much, we would study this question. But I see no preconditions for returning to this issue in 2011. Everybody would get accustomed and would know that population is credited in the national currency only," he said.

Prakapovich underlined that the ban for crediting physical persons in foreign currency was imposed in order to de-dollarize the economy, which is caused by a high risk of dependence on US dollar and other reserve currencies fluctuations. "The world is on the needle of the dollar. In the conditions of the crisis we have made a conclusion for ourselves: de-dollarization," he noted.

As said by him, the strategic aim of the National Bank in the next 2-3 years is absolute minimization of use of foreign currencies inside the country so that citizens would need currencies only when leaving abroad.

He also reminded that "we spoke about the ban for foreign currency lending for physical persons in the beginning of the year". Considering high risks of currency credits they are not needed, he believes. P. Prakapovich thinks that "the time will come when the Belarusian ruble would become a freely convertible currency, and our citizens wouldn’t have to worry for the exchange rate of foreign currencies".

Independent experts believe that the ban for foreign currency lending for physical persons is connected with the dramatic decrease of the gold and currency reserves of Belarus. However analysts of one of the foreign banks stated to PRIME-TASS agency that the problem of the adverse trade balance and "eating away" the reserves couldn’t be solved by the ban on credits and import of consumer’s goods.

Devaluation of the Belarusian ruble is inevitable, and whether it would be one-time or creeping is not so important. But from the point of view of gold and foreign currency reserves of the state one-time devaluation would be more favourable. It would be logical to carry out devaluation in August, which is famous for its "black Mondays and Tuesdays", the expert noted.